Srinagar: The horticulture industry in Kashmir valley has been severely hit due to the long clampdown since 5 August and the civil curfew that is in place now. With hardly any truck drivers ready to transport their produce to the outside markets, farmers are waiting for the government to intervene and buy the apples. The losses are mounting as apples could not be transported on time. In many orchards, their produce is rotting, claimed by the farmers, especially in North Kashmir.

Although many apple traders from Sopore and other parts of Kashmir Valley have sent truckloads of apples to markets in Delhi, they are not getting proper rates.

Talking to this reporter in Srinagar, a delegation of apple traders said that recently they took the risk and decided to transport their produce to Delhi markets. “We got low rates for an apple box and suffered losses. Traders in Delhi were trying to buy our produce at a very low price. Most of us have now decided not to send any more trucks out. We will sell our produce in the local markets of Kashmir and Jammu and it will fetch us good rates,” said Ghulam Nabi (name changed) from Sopore.

They said that they even had to compensate for the transport charges, as in many mandis in Delhi, their produce could not get the required rates. One of them explained that they purchased an apple box locally at the rate of Rs 700, but were forced to sell it in Delhi markets for Rs 500.

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